Thursday, March 15, 2007

Township Officials Boggled by Chief’s Disappearance

Police Chief Harry Houdini?

The police in the small town of Broken Springs, Michigan, as in other small towns, often search for missing persons. But it isn’t everyday they search for one of their own, let alone their own boss. However, ever since Police Chief Jim Kingston was named in three complaints filed by Broken Springs residents, he’s been harder to find than the criminals he once helped to catch.

Township authorities, anxious to resolve the complaints as quickly as possible, reported earlier this week that Kingston has missed work most of last week and failed to show for the monthly police committee meeting, where the aforementioned complaints were to be discussed. Officially, he’s ill, according to those close to him. His wife even presented the Township Board with a handwritten note from home.

But calls to his home are left unanswered. His mail (most notably his Lottery Digest and Hustler magazines) have yet to be picked up from his PO Box.* And the most haunting clue to his disappearance is the overgrown grass in his front yard.

“Nope, ain’t seen ‘im,” says neighbor Wilbur Reed. “He ain’t even took out his trash.”

Has the 30 year police veteran skipped town? Is he lying low until things quiet down? Or has he simply vanished into thin air? Local police are none the wiser than everyone else. They said it was days before they noticed the Chief was even gone. And since then, they insist that if he doesn’t have a warrant out for his arrest, they’re not all that interested in finding him.

“A man’s got a right to some private time,” says Officer Daniel Shame. “I usually spend mine on the commode just before breakfast. But if Jim wants to take his all at once, that’s his prerogative.”

There are those in town, however, that claim to have spotted Kingston in broad daylight. Some witnesses insist they’ve seen him buying Super Cash scratch offs at Weedway gas station. Others claim to have watched him work a Sudoko while waiting for his Jiffy Lube oil change.

One wild eyed resident even says she saw him sharing a Corona and singing karaoke with Elvis Presley at Coyote’s Bar and Grille. “He better not quit his day job,” she added.

Whenever the elusive Kingston decides to come out of hiding, one thing is for certain. If he sees his shadow, we’ll have six more weeks of winter.

* As of this printing, someone has picked up the Hustler magazines.

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